2010 Oscar Reactions

Welcome to my third annual Oscar Reaction section in which I apply a rigorous intellectual vigor and social analysis of this year’s nominees… WITH SMILIES! Smilies and memes are the new discourse after all.

Best Picture…

“Black Swan” 🙂 😳
“The Fighter” 😀
“Inception” 🙄 😐
“The Kids Are All Right” 😉
“The King’s Speech” 😀
“127 Hours” 😥
“The Social Network”   😐
“Toy Story 3″ 😐
“True Grit” 🙂
“Winter’s Bone” 😯  🙂

Achievement in directing…

“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight), Darren Aronofsky 🙂
“The Fighter” (Paramount), David O. Russell 😀 😛
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), David Fincher 😕
“True Grit” (Paramount), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen 😯 😐 😐

Performance by an actor in a leading role…

Javier Bardem in “Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions) 😯 😡 ❓  🙄
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit” (Paramount) 😯 😀 😛
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) 🙂 😎
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company) 😀
James Franco in “127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight) 🙂

Performance by an actress in a leading role…

Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features) 🙂
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole” (Lionsgate) 😯 😐 😕
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions) 🙂
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight) 🙂
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine” (The Weinstein Company) 😀

Performance by an actor in a supporting role…

Christian Bale in “The Fighter” (Paramount) 😀 😀 😀 😀 😆   :mrgreen:
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions) 😯
Jeremy Renner in “The Town” (Warner Bros.) 😐
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features) 😀 😀 😛
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company) 🙂

Performance by an actress in a supporting role…

Amy Adams in “The Fighter” (Paramount) 🙂
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company) 🙂
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter” (Paramount) 🙂
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”(Paramount) 🙂 😉
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom” (Sony Pictures Classics) 🙂 😛

Adapted screenplay…

“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy 😯 ❓ ❓ 😡
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3? (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Michael Arndt, Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
“True Grit” (Paramount), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen 😛
“Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions), Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini 🙂

Original screenplay…

“Another Year” (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Mike Leigh 😯 😀 😀
“The Fighter” (Paramount), Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson, Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Written by Christopher Nolan 🙄 😡
“The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features), Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg 😐
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Seidler 🙂

Best animated feature film of the year…

“How to Train Your Dragon” (Paramount), Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois 😀
“The Illusionist” (Sony Pictures Classics), Sylvain Chomet 🙂
“Toy Story 3? (Walt Disney), Lee Unkrich

Achievement in art direction…

“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney), Production Design: Robert Stromberg, Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara 😡
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1? (Warner Bros.), Production Design: Stuart Craig, Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan 🙂
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas, Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat 🙂
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Production Design: Eve Stewart, Set Decoration: Judy Farr
“True Grit” (Paramount), Production Design: Jess Gonchor, Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

Achievement in cinematography…

“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight), Matthew Libatique 🙂
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Wally Pfister 😀 🙂
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Jeff Cronenweth 🙂
“True Grit” (Paramount), Roger Deakins

Achievement in costume design…

“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney), Colleen Atwood 😡 😡
“I Am Love” (Magnolia Pictures), Antonella Cannarozzi 😀 😀
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Jenny Beavan 
“The Tempest” (Miramax), Sandy Powell
“True Grit” (Paramount), Mary Zophres

Best documentary feature…

“Exit through the Gift Shop” (Producers Distribution Agency), A Paranoid Pictures Production, Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz 🙂 😛
“Gasland”, A Gasland Production, Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Representational Pictures Production, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo” (National Geographic Entertainment), An Outpost Films Production, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger 😐
“Waste Land” (Arthouse Films), An Almega Projects Production, Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Best documentary short subject…

“Killing in the Name”, A Moxie Firecracker Films Production, Nominees to be determined
“Poster Girl”, A Portrayal Films Production, Nominees to be determined
“Strangers No More”, A Simon & Goodman Picture Company Production, Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
“Sun Come Up”, A Sun Come Up Production, Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
“The Warriors of Qiugang”, A Thomas Lennon Films Production, Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

Achievement in film editing…

“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight), Andrew Weisblum 🙂
“The Fighter” (Paramount), Pamela Martin
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), Jon Harris 🙂 🙂
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter 🙂

Best foreign language film of the year…

“Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions), A Menage Atroz, Mod Producciones and Ikiru Films Production, Mexico
“Dogtooth” (Kino International), A Boo Production, Greece 😀 😯  😀
“In a Better World” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Zentropa Production, Denmark
“Incendies” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Micro-Scope Production, Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” (Cohen Media Group), A Tassili Films Production, Algeria

Achievement in makeup…

“Barney’s Version” (Sony Pictures Classics), Adrien Morot 😯 😐
“The Way Back” (Newmarket Films in association with Wrekin Hill Entertainment and Image Entertainment), Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng 😯
“The Wolfman” (Universal), Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)…

“How to Train Your Dragon” (Paramount), John Powell 😯
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Hans Zimmer 🙂
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Alexandre Desplat 🙂
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), A.R. Rahman ❓ 😡
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross 😀 🙂  😀  :mrgreen:
  😀

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)…

“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” (Sony Pictures Releasing (Screen Gems)), Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey 🙄
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” (Walt Disney), Music by Alan Menken, Lyric by Glenn Slater 🙄
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong 🙄
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3? (Walt Disney), Music and Lyric by Randy Newman 🙄

Best animated short film…

“Day & Night” (Walt Disney), A Pixar Animation Studios Production, Teddy Newton
“The Gruffalo”, A Magic Light Pictures Production, Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let’s Pollute”, A Geefwee Boedoe Production, Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing”, (Nick Batzias for Madman Entertainment), A Passion Pictures Australia Production, Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)”, A Sacrebleu Production, Bastien Dubois

Best live action short film…

“The Confession” (National Film and Television School), A National Film and Television School Production, Tanel Toom
“The Crush” (Network Ireland Television), A Purdy Pictures Production, Michael Creagh
“God of Love”, A Luke Matheny Production, Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe” (Premium Films), A CUT! Production, Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143?, A Swing and Shift Films/Union Pictures Production, Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Achievement in sound editing…

“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Richard King 🙂
“Toy Story 3? (Walt Disney), Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy” (Walt Disney), Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague 😐
“True Grit” (Paramount), Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey 😐
“Unstoppable” (20th Century Fox), Mark P. Stoeckinger 😐

Achievement in sound mixing…

“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick 🙂
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin 😡
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit” (Paramount), Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Achievement in visual effects…

“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney), Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips 😡 😡 😡 😡 😡 😡 😡
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1? (Warner Bros.), Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter” (Warner Bros.), Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb 😯 😯
“Iron Man 2? (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment, Distributed by Paramount), Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick  🙂

 

😀 Noms  

  1. Christian Bale in The Fighter. We all knew it would happen but it still feels great that Bale finally got nominated and is the frontrunner for the win.
  2. Trent Reznor for Social Network. I honestly didn’t think the Oscars were progressive enough to know good music when they heard it.
  3. Dogtooth nominated for Foreign Film. Greece’s first nom in 30 years!
  4. Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine
  5. All the Winter’s Bone love. Totally didn’t expect it to get a Best Pic nom.
  6. After being snubbed so long ago for You Can Count On Me (his first role) Mark Ruffalo finally gets a nomination.
  7. John Hawkes!
  8. David O. Fucking Russell, congrats! You were snubbed for directing Three Kings so this one’s earned. Good movie to boot.  

👿 Snubs

  • Christopher Nolan for directing Inception–an average movie in my book but one with exceptionally noteworthy direction. The Oscars hate Nolan for some reason. And of all the things to nominated him for… they go with writing? Really?! The film has a clear visual mastery going for it but, come on, the story and plotting sucked and only exist to serve the visuals. It’s shocking and sad that a director of Nolan’s caliber, who is doing very interesting things with big Hollywood budgets is getting passed over. Nobody makes big movies like Nolan does and the Oscars love big movies (Avatar). So what gives? His Dark Knight is the reason the Best Picture nominees got increased to 10 and his snub here should really be looked at.  
  • Ryan Gosling–Michelle Williams, also very good, got nominated. But Gosling was amazing. I don’t get it.
  • Ghost Writer–in almost all categories. Writing, directing, editing, cinematography, and acting (Brosnan and Williams esp).
  • Scott Pilgrim–No sound or editing nominations? BS. Unstoppable got nominated but not Pilgrim!
  • Shutter Island–It had a tiny bit of momentum but nobody was buying. Sad considering it’s Scorsese’s best movie in years.
  • Leslie Manville for her performance in Another Year. So sad she missed out. She’s in good company though because the Oscars also snubbed Sally Hawkings in Leigh’s Happy Go Lucky. Something about wacky Leigh characters the Oscars don’t like.
  • How does Annette Bening get nominated in Kids are All Right but not Julianne Moore? Benning is very good in that movie. Moore is every bit as good.
  • Okay, Tron: Legacy sucked but to not nominated in the Best Visual Effects category is insane.
  • Inception again. I just realized that it missed out on an editing nomination. The only two noms it should have gotten is directing and, yeah, editing. That is missed both is insane and they might as well have not nominated for Best Picture in that case (which would have been fine by me).  
  • I would say Waiting for Superman in the doc category except it’s not a snub if it shouldn’t have been nominated in the first place. Surprising, yes, snub no.
  • Andrew Garfield had a good shot of getting nominated but the real best supporting actor in Social Network was Armie Hammer. Not was Armie Hammer snubbed but his twin, Armie Hammer, was also snubbed.
  • Ditto Mila Kunis in Black Swan. She had great odds with a SAG and Globe nom but I felt her performance was lacking and unmemorable. Barbara Hershey was not and she should have been nominated in the supporting category. Hence the snub.  

Wut?

  • A Clint Eastwood movie gets nominated for visual effects. Hum. Haven’t seen the film. And don’t want to but, hey, it’s Clint so I got to.
  • Alice in Wonderland gets three nominations. That’s three nominations too many
  • 127 Hours gets a Screenplay nod. Really?
  • Inception also gets a Screenplay nomination. Makes no sense. That would be like nominating Avatar for its writing last year (which they didn’t).
  • Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that the GREAT Mike Leigh got his fifth writing nomination for his amazing work on Another Year. But, as with 127 Hours and Inception, this is not a writerly film. Plus, isn’t a lot of dialogue improv?  
  • True Grit is an okay movie. I liked it. And I like the Coen Brothers but this is not close to one of their better directed films. I don’t know how they slipped in this year over Boyle, Affleck, Nolan or some of the other buzzed about directors. I guess they’ll get nominated for making just about anything at this point. Time for a Ladykillers 2!  

Overall, a solid list of nominees. Nothing too awful here. Some overrated films (Social Network, True Grit, etc.) but overrated films that are far from bad. I just this was a very weak year for movies in general so if this is the best Hollywood could do then I guess it could have been worse.  

Best of 2010: Graphic Novels/Books

1. The Walking Dead vol 11, 12 and 13
by Robert Kirkman
Forget the sometimes brilliant/sometimes awful AMC TV series, the OG Walking Dead comic is the best zombie saga of its day. Perhaps that’s because it’s not even technically a zombie series anymore–it’s a human series that just happens to feature the occasional zombie. After the intense and still talked about prison show-down more than a year ago, the series has slowed down these last few volumes but I can honestly say that’s not a bad thing. The last three volumes in particular have focused more on character moments and drama rather than the high intensity action this series has been known for in earlier volumes. But the shift makes sense. The hand-less protagonist Rick has never been more tragic or morally uncertain. When he takes on a band of cannibals in volume 11, Rick is so fierce you actually end up feeling bad for the man-eaters at the end. Rick is like the Walter White (“Breaking Bad”) of the comic book world–a figure that has become as scary as he is/was sympathetic. Whatever the series has become in its long tenure, the one thing it hasn’t is tired. Fresh ideas and new angles pop up in every issue with more regularity that most new comic series. Sure, Kirkman’s dialogue can sometimes feel a bit forced and unnatural but in terms of the overall (and hopefully never ending) narrative arc, all of Kirkman’s duck are in a row. Things are going down and while we can be sure that it’s not going to pretty we can also be sure that it will be awesome!
2. Invincible Iron Man vol. 3 and 4
by Matt Fraction
Iron Man is easily the best ongoing superhero series. Matt Fraction is not only able to get into the mind of Tony Stark (no easy task–especially after the movie) but he makes a nest there and chips away at his psyche. The arc that finds Stark loosing his mind as the equally unbalanced patriot/villain Norman Osborn (and the entire government) is after him is a classic chapter in the character’s mythology that is able to reexamine Tony Stark’s identity with trilling narrative precision. It goes back to backs while also offering a new side to Tony–a side that isn’t drunk or cocky for once. Each new story in Fraction’s amazing series reveals not so much who Tony Star is (we know already that) but what motivates him, makes him tick, makes him soar and ultimately what makes him fall.
3. Chew vol. 1 and 2
by John Layman
Warning: reading this will cost you 10.95 because you will have to buy it once you read what it’s about. Chew is the best new comic series of the year.
4. Buffy Season vol. 6 and 7
by Joss Whedon and co.
I don’t know what I’m going to do once the Buffy Season 8 comic series ends later this year. Actually I might know and hopefully it involves starting up Season 9 as soon as possible. The movie version has us hardcore Buffy fans in the dumps but it’s nice knowing the real Buffy will continue to live on in comic form. Buffy is the series that got me into comics and it’s going to be the series to keep me into them for years to come. It’s almost as good in print as it is on TV. That’s saying something.
5. The Dark Tower: The Fall of Gilliad and The Battle of Jericho Hill
by Stephen King, Peter David, Robin Furth, and Richard Isanove
Dark Tower fans finally got to find out how exactly Gilliad fell to the dark forces of “The Good Man” John Farson. And it’s not quite how I expected it to turn out. This graphic novel spin-off to the seven volume Tower novels has become very dependable. One of the deepest and most richly rewarding series around. Worthy to be included in Stephen King’s marvelous Dark Tower cannon. Seeing the events that were (maddeningly) briefly touched upon  in the books fleshed out with gorgeous art and great writing proved to be a thrilling experience.
6. The Boys vol. 4 and 5
by Garth Ennis
Despite a slight dip in quality, The Boys maintains its edge and humor in its 2010 offerings. While crass and ridiculous, it’s still one of the most audacious and original graphic novels around. I love it. And now that the good (but really evil) superhero celebrities have set their sights on the fringe supe-bashing protagonist the series is gearing up for an amazing(lybloody) show-down. It’s going to get very ugly. Add to that a fantastic art style and brilliantly twisted dialogue and you have a dodgy winner.
7. Fantastic Four vol. 1
by Jonathan Hickman
Marvel pulls a Green Lantern and makes this comic good again. Really good! Great sci-fi storytelling.
8. Marvel Zombies Return and Marvel Zombies 5
by Fred Van Lente
Welcome back Z-boys! Contrary to popular opinion I loved me some Marvel Zombies vol 3 and 4 but, lets face it, it wasn’t the original Robert Kirkman (he of Walking Dead fame) Zombies I grew attached to. Though I have to say that headless zombie Deadpool (Headpool) is an invaluable addition to the increasingly decaying rooster. That swamp monster dude was also pretty cool. Returns, um, returns or reboots the series and while it doesn’t capture the humor and out-of-left-field style of the first two books it’s still a success in my opinion. The emphasis on zombie Spider-Man and his changing morals grew on me (leave it to Peter Parker to make even a zombie version of himself emo). And Wolverine (who comes in both zombie and regular strength) also has a big part to play. I would love to see the gang return for movie volumes of brain eating fun (bring back Ash!) but may have to settle for comics like Marvel Zombies 5 which is fine by me. Either way, I would kill for a movie or video game based on this franchise.
9. Scott Pilgrim vol. 6
by Bryan O’Malley
And the landmark Pilgrim series goes out with a whimper. Fitting given the character we’re dealing with. The series declined in its last two issues due to novelty of the subject wearing out, repetition of plots and the whole Scott/Ramona back-and-fourth losing a bit of its edge and luster (stay together or break up… but stick with it, okay guys). Ironic, then, that the final volume is called “Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour.” It’s not but it was still nice to see this amazing series end on a somewhat tolerable note. I have an idea for a great spin-off too: Ramona runs off and finds a new boyfriend so now Scott must become an evil ex! How cool would that be? Shut up, I think it’s a great idea.
10 The Complete Balled of Halo Jones by Alan Moore
Moore dials up the sci-fi to 11 on his flamboyent series that has finally been collected and reprinted. This space adventure retains Moore’s usual/unusual sense of humor as well as sense of action rooted in some kind of purpose (be it political or self reflexive). Jones makes for not only a great Moore character but an important sci-fi female protagonist. It’s a bit of a slog at times (with cluttered art and text and some confusing story lines) but the bubbly sci-fi comic strip universe he creates is well worth visiting. It’s funny how a black and white comic can feel so colorful. The worst thing about this comic is that it ended before its time.
10.1 Nemesis vol. 1
by Mark Millar
While I liked Mark Millar’s Kick Ass book, I loved his Nemesis. This is a book about an evil superhero going after the government. A subversive commentary on terrorism and celebrity.
also great…
American Vampire by Steven King and co.
After a lot of lame ass vampire stuff infecting the cultural ethos (Twilight, Bite Me, the horrible third season of Tru Blood) it’s good to see this kind of return to form. A Vampire story that is scary, sexy and stylish. That’s all I need. As a bonus this book has an underwarter vampire. Cool! Looking forward to vol 2.
Y: The Last Man Deluxe Edition by Brian K. Vaughn vol. 2-4
Because you can never buy Y enough times and never read it enough.
Blackest Night by Geoff Jones
DC’s high profile answer to Marvel Zombies. DC does another big cross over event that’s actually halfway good which is more than I can say about Marvel’s big cross over Siege. Blackest Night offers more proof that The Green Lantern is the only good DC character around.
Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka
Batwoman as a Jewish lesbian? Yes, and she just out-cooled Batman. How odd is it that two of the best Batman books of recent times/all time are about Joker and Batwoman? To Batman’s credit I hear Grant Morrison’s recent Batman and Robin are very good.
Worst:
Seige–Marvel effectively kills the joy of its events with this flashy dud. What started off promising (Dark Avengers is one of my favorite books to date) turned into a joyless exercise in putting the mostly boring heroes back in charge. TWO CAPT. AMERICAs!? Fuck off, Marvel that’s stupid!
Twilight–more proof that Twilight readers are stupid and will buy anything regardless of cost or content.
Best Non Fiction Book:
Home by Bill Bryson:
Instead of looking outward at the history of the entire universe Bryson looks inward with his fantastic new book. It’s a history of what the title suggest but of course since this is Bryson, it’s about so much more. I haven’t quite finished it yet but I’m savoring every colorful word.
Runner Up: The Grand Design by Steven Hawking.
God may not be dead but he’s certainly unnecessary. Shockingly, science doesn’t need a magical wizard in the sky (or, uh, space) to make sense and Hawking should be commended for this book.
Best Fiction Book:
Lucy by Laurence Gonzales
Monkey hybrid book. It’s like Spice (but better) meets the third (and worst) Planet of the Apes movie. A great read that tackles evolution, racism, and what it means to be human. Very profound without being pretentious.
Runner Up: The Half Made World by Felix Gilman
Five words: Steampunk and “demon-possessed guns.” One more word: Western.
Best Book Not From This Year: Anathem by Neal Stephenson, 2008 (yeah, I really need to read more non-Sci-fi books)
Post, post, and post apocalyptic monks from the future (and another planet) fight off aliens from another-another planet. Gotta love Stephenson. This is his most ambitious novel to date. I love how detailed this book is. Playing with language and the conventions of a genre he helped create Stevenson creates a fully realized world. One where predictable cyberpunk clichés are all but a distant  memory. This book was a real discovery for me.
Note:  Content taken from my other WordPress blog.

Best of 2010: Songs

2010’s Best Songs

for the top 50 songs listed click on song titles to see/hear on Youtube…

  1. Impossible Soul Sufjan Stevens
    The best song of the year. The best song in years. To even it a song seems to limit it. There’s nothing else in the same league as Sufjan Steven’s “Impossible Soul” in terms of innovation, experimentation, catchiness, or emotional resonance. This 25-minute electronic-ish opus defies classification. The chorus, if I can even call it that, doesn’t kick in until the 14 minute point, at which point Stevens feel-good hipster motivational warm fuzzies reache maximum capacity with lines like “It’s a long life/only one last chance/couldn’t get much better/do you wanna dance?” I like “Impossible Soul” because it’s not a song made for pop radio, satellite radio or iTunes. When the song reaches its peek Stevens finally shows mercy and takes all the effusive momentum away, guiding the song into a quirky slow-motion coda that warps the previously upbeat tone into something warped at first, then sad then something in between. The song ends with the line “boy we made such a mess together.” The song too is as mess but it also couldn’t get much better.
  2. Stylo Gorillaz
    Smooth synth, Bobby Womack jamming about love, Damon Albarn whispering “juice.” This is the best 80s song never to be released in the 80s. I listened to “Stylo” more than any other song this year.
  3. Doe DeerCrystal Castles
    CC maintains a high energy and never lets up. The only lyrics are “deathray deathray.” Coolest thing ever?
  4. Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool Editors
    “Chewing with an open mouth/raw meat/your blood drool attracts the flies.” Sick! Could this be the world most kick ass vegetarian song? I don’t know. What it is for sure is the best Interpol song that Interpol never came up with (though they do have a song ranked 97 on this list). Also, the vid for the song song is cool. Check it out above.
  5. Got NuffinSpoon
  6. Colouring of PigeonsThe Knife
    Great example of The Knife’s creativity. With a unusually large amount of Opera and drums this sounds nothing like past Knife music. Sounds nothing like anything for that matter. Oh, except for maybe that scene in “Fifth Element” where the blue alien Opera lady busted out space rhymes all over Bruce Willis’ ass.
  7. Runaway Kanye West
    Kanye’s best song to date. Gotta love the two minutes of autotuned guitar.
  8. We Want WarThese New Puritans
    A true original.
  9. Bloodbuzz OhioThe National
    More blissful paranoid from The National. Imagine being married to this guy?
  10. Because The Night Bruce Springsteen
    As good as any ‘new’ song. Or old song for that matter.
  11. I Want The World To StopBelle & Sebastian
    So do I!
  12. Here Sometimes Blonde Redhead
    Very low key Blond Redhead song. Not flashy. Solid though. Brings back good memories.
  13. TightropeJanelle Monáe
    Even white people like this song!
  14. Let’s Get LostBeck And Bat For Lashes
  15. No Words/No ThoughtsSwans
  16. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) – Arcade Fire
    2010 was the year for great 80s music throwbacks. Here, Arcade Fire channel (and surpass) ABBA.
  17. Escape Velocity The Chemical Brothers
    It’s songs like this that make me wish I took drugs. I’m totally going to rewatch “2001: A Space Odyssey” and play this song when Dave goes into hyperspace!
  18. Crash YearsThe New Pornographers
    New Porn’s most recent album may not be very good but this song is classic Porn. Nice to hear Neko back too. Also, the video for this song is great.
  19. In Motion Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
  20. Fuck YouCee Lo Green
    2009’s Lily Allen’s “Fuck You’ now has some stiff competition. HA!
  21. Dance Yrslf CleanLCD Soundsystem
    A prime example of a well constructed LCD song. The slow build is fantastic. Don’t know why this song wasn’t the most popular on the album.
  22. Good Intentions Paving CompanyJoanna Newsom
    Newsom’s best song to date. Probably because it’s an actual song with actual instruments other than harp and an elf singing voice.
  23. Superfast Jellyfish (feat. Gruff Rhys & De La Soul) – Gorillaz
    Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys + De La Soul + Damon Albarn singing about crafty squid breakfast foods. Most random collaboration of the year.
  24. Lovesick Lindstrøm and Christabelle
  25. Rill Rill Sleigh Bells
    “Wonder what your boyfriend thinks about your braces/ what about them/ I’m all about them.” Oh, Gawd I hate that I like this song. Sixteen six six six like the pentagon!
  26. Walk In The Park Beach House
  27. England The National
  28. (3-way tie) Year of Silence and Baptism and Celestia Crystal Castles
    Give Crystal Castles credit for being able to make an English language song sound way more scary than a German language one. Celestia is not scary, it’s just pretty.
  29. A Drowning How to Destroy Angels
  30. Apply Glasser
  31. Dancing On My Own –  Robyn
    Poor Robyn. She comes across as the loneliest dance pop singer ever. I’d totally bang her if she wasn’t such a stalker.
  32. This Too Shall PassOK Go
    Great, great, video.
  33. Desire Lines – Deerhunter
    I would be a much bigger Dearhunter fan if they made more songs like this.
  34. When I’m With YouBest Coast
    Hanging out at the beach. Spending time with Ronald McDonald. Taking him to In-N-Out (irony!). Even a Snacks cameo.
  35. Odessa – Caribou
    Since when was Caribou any good?! I guess since this song.
  36. Aidy’s Girl’s a Computer Darkstar
    Had me hooked at the title.
  37. Month Of May – Arcade Fire
  38. Empathy Crystal Castles
    Lots of Crystal Castles songs this year. Instead of having this be the Best Songs of the Year I should call it “The Best Crystal Castles Songs Featuring Some Other Stuff.”
  39. TRON Legacy (End Titles) Daft Punk
    For those complaining that the new Daft Punk album isn’t Daft Punky enough… shut up and listen to this song.
  40. The Height of Summer The Knife
  41. AM/FM – !!!
    I listened more to the song “AM/FM” than actual AM and FM radio.
  42. One Life Stand Hot Chip
    Captures what I loved so much about “Ready For The Floor.”
  43. Drunk Girls LCD Soundsystem
    With pressing, socially piercing lyrics like “Drunk girls are boringly wild” and “Drunk girls wait an hour to pee” this is a story that needs to be told. Bravo, James. Also be sure to check out the video because it’ll make you feel dirty (like, gangbanged by clowns dirty) though it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why that is so.
  44. Sorrow The National
    Where are the razor blades?
  45. Bohemian Forest Pantha Du Prince
  46. Jail La La Dum Dum Girls
  47. The Inevitable Relapse Filter
    The dorkiest song so far. Most years I have a lot more songs/bands like this on my list. 2010 was just too cool for school.
  48. USA Boys HEALTH
  49. You Knowjj
  50. Threshold Sex Bob-omb (from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World)
    WE ARE SEX BOB-OMB AND WE’RE HERE TO MAKE YOU THINK ABOUT DEATH AND GET SAD AND STUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  51. VesuviusSufjan Stevens
    Makes the list for rhyming Vesuvius with Sufjan. Also because it’s a great song.
  52. Fainting SpellsCrystal Castles
  53. Not Getting ThereBlonde Redhead
  54. Is Love Forever?Spoon
    Quick Answer: No. No it’s not.
  55. Rhinestone EyesGorillaz
  56. Planetary (GO!)My Chemical Romance
    Ugh… I hate to say it but this is a good song.
  57. White SkyVampire Weekend
  58. Not In LoveCrystal Castles
    More Crystal Castles. Sorry. I can’t help it.
  59. White Knuckles OK Go
  60. On Melancholy HillGorillaz
  61. Bottled in CorkTed Leo and the Pharmacists
  62. Attack MusicThese New Puritans
  63. NorwayBeach House
  64. Difficult – Uffie
    Uffie makes a good song! Without the help of Justice!
  65. Round and RoundAriel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
    Pitchfork picked this as best song of the year. Don’t know bout that. It is the best song on the overrated album though.
  66. Stick To My SidePantha Du Prince
  67. Written in ReverseSpoon
  68. JimSwans
    Jim. Jim. JIIIIIIIMMMMMMMMMM.
  69. WarpaintWarpaint
  70. MiseryMaroon 5
    I’m sorry.
  71. Cry When You Get OlderRobyn
  72. Too many MiraclesBadly Drawn Boy
  73. Bring NightSia
  74. Crown on the GroundSleigh Bells
  75. NightZola Jesus
    What a cool name! As it happens that’s also the nickname for my penis.
  76. I Can ChangeLCD Soundsystem
  77. Real LoveDelorean
  78. Garbage TruckSex Bob-omb
  79. IntimateCrystal Castles
  80. AliveGoldfrapp
    The 80s are alive. Again.
  81. Jamie, My Intentions Are Bass!!!
  82. WTF?OK Go
    OMG
  83. Plastic BeachGorillaz
    Why would anybody bring a Casio to a plastic beach?)
  84. Let’s Go SurfingThe Drums
  85. And the World Laughs with You (ft. Thom Yorke) – Flying Lotus
  86. Intriguing PossibilitiesTrent Reznor and Atticus Ross
  87. Afraid of EveryoneThe National
  88. You ll Be Taken Care OfDavid Byrne and Fatboy Slim
  89. ZebraBeach House
  90. UndertowWarpaint
  91. Drug BoyFilter
    More rehab music from Filter. Well, at least Patrick is not singing about Jesus.
  92. HolidayVampire Weekend
  93. Recognizer – Daft Punk Tron Legacy (Soundtrack)
  94. World Of LinesCoheed and Cambria
  95. Howlin’ For YouThe Black Keys
    When did this band become so trendy? I miss the Rubber Factory days.
  96. Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) – My Chemical Romance 
    As “na na na” songs go, way less annoying than “Hey Jude!”
  97. BarricadeInterpol
  98. You Must Be Out Of Your MindThe Magnectic Fields
  99. Love-Hate-Sex-PainGodsmack
    Guilty pleasure. Hey, just be happy I didn’t put on Godsmack’s “Crying Like a Bitch” instead.
  100. Come On Sister – Belle & Sebastian



 

Most appearances on this list:

Crystal Castles: 8 (good god, that’s pratcially the whole album! maybe this should have been my #1 album of the year)
Gorillaz: 5
The National: 4
LCD Soundsystem: 3
OK Go: 3 (yikes, sorry)
Spoon: 3

and finally…

Worst Songs of the Year:


  1. Aaron Lewis – Country Boy: “And I like my jeans and my old T-shirts and a couple extra pounds will never hurt cuz a country boy is all I’ll ever beeeeeeee.” More lyrics. “You never catch me outta my house without my 9 or 45,” and of course “I’m proud to be American and strong in my beliefs. And I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again and I’ll never need my Government to hold my hand.” The world’s shittyest Tea Party anthem performed by the world’s shittyest Tool cover act. I think Aaron Lewis (of Stained) is trying to be Kid Rock. Nobody told him however that the only band worse than Stained is Kid Rock.
  2. Train – Hey Soul Sister: the #1 song of the year on iTunes?! Really?! Come on people, we can do better than that! On second though…
  3. Susan Boyle – Hallelujah: You can suck on your own all you want sista but when you bring Leonard Cohen into your whole sham of a career then I getz pissed. If you can listen to this song without passing out then, well, you probably own a Susan Boyle album.
  4. Any Glee Song recorded, played, listened to or watched in 2010. See above or listen to their version of Beck’s “Loser.”
  5. Twin SisterAll Around and Away We Go: That voice! AWW, Shuuuuuutttttttt uuuuuuuupppppppp! Twin Sister sounds like an annoying(er) girl version of that old pedofile from Family Guy. Seriousley, listen it’s really bad.
  6. Ke$haWe R Who We R: Washed up in 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
  7. Lady Gaga – Telephone: Don’t pick up.
  8. Katy PerryCaliforna Girls: Boobs.
  9. Taio CruzDynamite
  10. WeezerMy Sex: Weezer went from being nerdy-cool to nerdy-stupid. In the radio version the ever edgy sell-out Rivers Cuomo sings “where’s my socks?” instead. Nuff said. He should have just gone for it and sang “where’s my balls?” or how about “where’s my talent?”